JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 145–152 | Cite as

Titanium mineralization in ferritin: a room temperature nonphotochemical preparation and biophysical characterization

  • Fairland F. Amos
  • Kathryn E. Cole
  • Rachel L. Meserole
  • Jean P. Gaffney
  • Ann M. Valentine
Original Paper


The incremental addition of titanium(III) citrate to H-chain homopolymers of human ferritin results in the formation of 1.5–6.5-nm particles of amorphous TiO2 within the nanocage of the protein. The mineralization conditions are mild, featuring ambient temperature and no need for photochemical activation. Low ratios of titanium to protein favor intraprotein mineralization, and the products are characterized by stained and unstained transmission electron microscopy, UV–vis spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, analytical ultracentrifugation, and metal analysis. With up to 1,000 equiv of metal, there is no change to the protein hydrodynamic radius or diffusion constant. There is, however, a systematic shift in the sedimentation coefficient, which confirms mineralization within the protein core.


Biomineralization Biotitanification Titanium dioxide Biomimetic Analytical ultracentrifugation 



Support from the American Cancer Society (Research Scholar Grant RSG-06-246-01-CDD) to A.M.V. is gratefully acknowledged. F.F.A. was supported by a Ruldolph Anderson Postdoctoral Fellowship from Yale University. K.E.C. was supported by a National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Traineeship in Biophysical Chemistry (GM08283). R.L.M. was supported by a Richter Summer Fellowship and by a Yale College Dean’s Research Fellowship. We thank Cody Craig and Ian Berke for help with analytical ultracentrifugation, and we thank an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments.

Supplementary material

775_2012_959_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (12.9 mb)
This material includes details of protein cloning and expression, unit cell parameters of common crystal forms of TiO2 and data for Fe(III) mineralization. Supplementary material 1 (PDF 13185 kb)


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Copyright information

© SBIC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fairland F. Amos
    • 1
  • Kathryn E. Cole
    • 2
  • Rachel L. Meserole
    • 1
  • Jean P. Gaffney
    • 1
  • Ann M. Valentine
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryIthaca CollegeIthacaUSA
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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